Magazine article Gramophone

Gramophone Talks to ... Peter Ash: The Composer on His New Opera, the Golden Ticket

Magazine article Gramophone

Gramophone Talks to ... Peter Ash: The Composer on His New Opera, the Golden Ticket

Article excerpt

Why did you see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory working as an opera rather than a musical?

I read the book as a child, I've worked with the Roald Dahl Estate and conducted lots of commissions, so I knew what was already out there. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is one of the great modern myths and bears lots of different treatments. What we've done is just another treatment of it. But to me, opera is the greatest art form. Some people have said this is a musical but what makes it an opera to me is that it celebrates the prodigious qualities of the human voice.

How did you define the characters?

It was a gift, the way it all fell into place. Charlie is the only 'real' person in the piece, so he had to be played by a real child. Violet Beauregard had to be a gum-chewing coloratura soprano and Veruca Salt--my favourite character-had to be as assy mezzo. Mike Teavee is a slightly underdeveloped, video-game-obsessed, stuttering Baroque countertenor and Augustus Gloop is the stereotypical fat tenor. …

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